A NUMBER of local communities are galvanising themselves to fight the threat of a potential windfarm development earmarked for a sensitive site between Old Hutton and Kirkby Lonsdale.

Seventy residents from Barbon, Casterton, Kirkby Lonsdale and Old Hutton attended a public meeting organised by the Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS) on Saturday night to discuss the implications of a series of turbines, which they fear could be as high as St Paul's Cathedral, being built on the hillside at Barkin House, close to the B6254.

Opposition to the development was given a lift when Cumbria County Council sent a message to the Government that it was a widely held view that the county had already provided too high a proportion of existing wind generation schemes.

Councillors were discussing the authority's reply to a Department of Trade and Industry energy review in which Ralph Howard, CCC's corporate director of economy, culture and environment, said that the demand to build wind energy developments in Cumbria would continue due to high resources and Government guidance.

The meeting about the proposed Barkin House development heard that a windfarm of the size envisaged would be visible over 350 square miles of unspoiled countryside.

But Baywind Energy Co-operative, the company considering submitting an application for turbines at Barkin House, said it was too early to say how many and what size of turbines would be included should a firm proposal be made.

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